Yankee's Abbott out-duels Moyer, O's Pitching improves, but not enough, 4-1

August 14, 1993|By Jim Henneman | Jim Henneman,Staff Writer

NEW YORK -- It wasn't pitching that did the Orioles in this time.

Fresh off a horror show in Detroit during which the Tigers scored 47 runs in three games, the Orioles got a strong effort from Jamie Moyer here last night. But despite several early opportunities against Jim Abbott, the Orioles were unable to provide any offensive support.

The result was a complete game, eight-hit, 4-1 win for Abbott that extended the Orioles' losing streak to four, matching their longest winless streak of the season. By virtue of the victory, the Yankees moved into a tie for first place with the Toronto Blue Jays, one game in front of the Boston Red Sox and 2 1/2 ahead of the suddenly struggling Orioles.

Mike Stanley was the big man in the Yankees' lineup, driving in threeruns, two with a seventh-inning double off Moyer, the other on an eighth-inning single off Todd Frohwirth.

Moyer (7-6) allowed only two hits while locked in a scoreless duel with Abbott (9-9) through six innings. But the left-hander lost it quickly in the seventh inning, when he gave up three straight hits and left on the short end of a 2-0 score.

In recording his third complete game of the season, Abbott struggled at times early, when he was aided by four double plays. However, he finished strong and survived a one-out, bases-loaded threat in the ninth to record his seventh win in 10 decisions at Yankee Stadium this year.

"I thought he threw much better in the last four innings that he did in the first five," said Orioles manager Johnny Oates. "And you have to give his defense some credit. They kept three balls from going through [for base hits] and if they don't do that, he probably doesn't make it through the fourth inning."

With a pitching staff that was in disarray following the Detroit barrage, it was vital that Moyer provide a good effort last night. He held up his end, but he wasn't preoccupied with the necessity of pitching enough innings to give the bullpen a needed rest.

"I honestly didn't think about that at all," said Moyer. "If I spent time thinking about that, it would take everything away from what my goal was -- to win the game.

"What happened in Detroit is behind us. You try not to dwell on it. There wasn't a lot of positive things to carry out of there."

Moyer provided the Orioles with something positive last night -- six scoreless innings, but it still wasn't enough. "For six innings, everythingworked," he said. "But in the seventh, I didn't get ahead [in the count] and it hurt me.

"Maybe I was trying to be too fine, but I got behind [Don] Mattingly and he hit one off the (right-field) wall, and I got behind [Danny] Tartabull and he hit one down the [left-field line]."

Included in Moyer's 16 previous starts were two against the Yankees, a 1-0 loss to Bob Wickman here on May 25 and a no-decision in the Orioles' 12-10 win at Camden Yards June 26. In those two games, the Yankees got 16 hits and six runs off Moyer in 10 1/3 innings.

Abbott was making his third start against the Orioles, but wasn't the pitcher of record in either of the other two. The Orioles won both, 8-6 here on May 24 and 7-6 at Camden Yards on June 25.

The Orioles had base runners in each of the first six innings last night, but only once got a runner beyond second base. Brady Anderson led off the game with a single and advanced to third on a one-out walk to Mike Devereaux and a grounder by Harold Baines on which the Yankees just missed a double-play.

It was one of two double-play opportunities the Yankees missed, but they more than made up for it by converting four others. Baines hit the ball up the middle on the ground in each of his first three at-bats, with a runner on base each time.

In the fourth inning, shortstop Mike Gallego and second baseman Pat Kelly turned a spectacular double-play that kept Abbott out of trouble. After Devereaux led off with a single, Gallego made a diving stop of Baines' bid for a base hit.

Gallego flipped the ball to Kelly, who made a barehanded catch and throw just before being upended by the sliding Devereaux. Ripken followed with an infield hit, but David Segui popped out to end the inning.

The Yankees turned ground balls by Jack Voigt, Mark McLemore and Ripken into inning-ending double plays in the second, third and sixth.

Meanwhile Moyer held the Yankees in check, not allowing more than one runner in any of the first six innings. Randy Velarde lined a one-out single to center in the first and Bernie Williams singled alongthe third baseline with two outs in the second. Don Mattingly, who walked with one out in the fourth, was the only other Yankees baserunner until the seventh.

Moyer had retired eight straight batters when Mattingly led off with a blast that missed being a home run by a foot. Tartabull followed with a drive to left on which Mattingly forced the issue, TTC beating the throw to third, which was wisely cut off by Ripken. Tartabull barely beat Ripken's throw to second and was generously credited with a double.

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